EU Environment Report: September/October 2013 | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice
EU Environment Report: September/October 2013

EU Environment Report: September/October 2013

In this issue...

Chemicals
Biocides Regulation enters into force
Germany authorised to maintain national limit value on certain chemicals
Commission proposes to amend the definition of nanomaterials under food information legislation
Parliament amends Commission’s proposal on medical devices

Climate Change
Commission plans to re-apply ETS to EEA airspace

Eco-design
EC consults on energy labelling and eco-design rule
Regulations on eco-design and energy labelling of space heaters and water heaters published

Energy
Parliament proposes that future "fracking" activities be subject to EIAs
Commission grants priority treatment to 250 Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) in energy sector

Other
Commission proposes to tackle invasive alien species within the EU

The Months Ahead
Workshops & Conferences

Biocides Regulation enters into force
On 1 September 2013, Regulation 528/2012, which concerns the making available on the market and use of biocidal products, entered into force. The Regulation aims to improve the harmonisation of the rules on the making available on the market and the use of biocidal products and applies to both biocidal products and treated articles, defined as articles with a primary biocidal function. A list of the types of biocidal products covered by the Regulation – 22 product types in total – is set out in Annex V to the Regulation.

The Regulation lays down rules in relation to the following: the establishment at EU level of a list of active substances which may be used in biocidal products; the authorisation of biocidal products on both the Member State and EU level; the mutual recognition of authorisations within the EU; the making available on the market and the use of biocidal products within one or more Member States or the EU; the placing on the market of treated articles.

The Regulation also puts in place a new version of the Register for Biocidal Products, which aims to facilitate the exchange of information between Member State authorities, the ECHA and the Commission, and through which applications for all procedures under the Regulation are submitted and approvals are published.

Germany authorised to maintain national limit value on certain chemicals
On 7 October 2013, the European Commission ("Commission") issued a decision authorising Germany to maintain the limit values under German law of five chemical substances: lead, arsenic, mercury, barium and antimony. According to Article 55 of Directive 2009/48/EC on the safety of toys, Member States had to bring into force certain migration limits for 19 elements, including lead, arsenic, mercury, barium and antimony, by 20 July 2013, as specified in Part III of Annex II to the Directive. On 20 January 2011, Germany requested the Commission under Article 114 TFEU for permission to maintain its limit values under national law. On 1 March 2012, the Commission rejected this request in relation to arsenic, antimony and mercury and partially approved the request until 20 July 2013 in relation to lead and barium. On 14 May 2012, Germany appealed against this Commission decision. On 13 February 2013, it applied for interim relief requesting the provisional approval of the national provisions maintaining the limit values for antimony, arsenic, barium, lead and mercury, pending the Court's decision in the main action, which was granted by Order of the President of the General Court of 15 May 2013. The Commission decision of 7 October 2013 is in compliance with that Order. The Commission is now appealing the Order of the President of the General Court.

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